Body found in trunk of car at tow yard identified as 22-year-old

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PHOENIX – A tow truck company employee made a gruesome discovery Thursday when he checked the trunk of an abandoned car he had hauled from a West Phoenix alley -- the body of a man.

The victim's father identified him as David Estrada.

The 22-year-old was last seen on Monday, June 7 at about 2 p.m. near 16th Street and Baseline Road. He had borrowed his father's car to go to a job interview at a Church's Chicken in the area of 23rd and Dunlap avenues. It's not clear whether Estrada actually made it to that interview.

That vehicle -- a 1989 four-door Lincoln Continental -- was found two days later abandoned in an alley in the 6200 block of N. 40th Drive.

The vehicle was taken from that alley to a tow yard in the 2900 block of west Osborn Road. Just before 3 p.m. Thursday the trunk was opened by an employee and Estrada's body was found.

It's not clear exactly when Estrada died, but police believe he had been dead for several days. They  have not released the cause of death.

Investigators are gathering evidence at the location where the vehicle was found.

Detectives say they do not know if the murder took place there or if it happened somewhere else and the car was later driven to that location.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who may have seen anything or may have information in reference to this homicide is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6141 or 480-WITNESS.